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Braised Pork Belly

This braised pork belly recipe is from Okinawa and even though some of the ingredients are difficult to find, there are substitutions, as are noted in the recipe.Note: You can change the number of people served by placing your cursor over "Servings". The Ingredients will adjust to the new number of servings.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Asian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 pound pork belly
  • 2 1/2 cups Awamori rice liqueur substitute sake
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 2 leeks white part only (1 halved lengthwise, 1 cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds)
  • 1 4-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dashi see recipe below
  • 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar packed
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce

Instructions

  • In a 6-quart Dutch oven, combine the pork belly with 1/2 cup awamori (sake), 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and drain away the cooking liquid.
  • Return the pot to the heat and stir in 1 cup awamori, the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, the halved leek, ginger and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the pork is very tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and transfer the pork to a cutting board; discard the cooking liquid and leek. Discard the skin, slice the pork into 2-inch squares and return the pork to the pot.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup awamori with the sliced leek, dashi, brown sugar and soy sauce and pour into the pot with the pork. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, turning the pork as needed, until the sauce is glossy and sticking to the pork, about 20 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and transfer the pork and leeks to a platter to serve.

Notes

Dashi - 1/4 oz. kombu, 5 cups water, 1 oz. bonito flakes -
In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 oz. kombu with 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, discard kombu and stir in 1 oz. bonito flakes. Let the dashi stand for 5 minutes, then pour through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the bonito flakes. Let the dashi cool to room temperature and refrigerate for up to 3 days or until ready to use. Makes 4 1/2 cups
Source:  Saveur, Jan/Feb 2016